REVIEW: ‘Santa Clarita Diet,’ Season 3 is Hilariously Fresh

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Clarita Diet Season 3

In the Netflix Original series Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 , Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila Hammond (Drew Barrymore) were your average suburban real estate agents. That is until Sheila died. But, lucky for Joel, she didn’t stay dead. Throughout the now three seasons, the couple faces a series of obstacles as they aim to satiate Sheila’s zombie need to eat human flesh, parent their teenage daughter, and solve a Serbian mythological mystery, all while trying to keep up appearances.

Picking where season two left off, Ann (Natalie Morales) knows that Sheila is a zombie, and if having a sheriff know your deepest undead secret isn’t enough, she actually believes that Sheila is a messenger from God. When the deeply religious Ann decides that she is going to take up the task of helping the Hammonds kill bad people, all in the name of doing God’s work, the couple has even more stuff to worry about: other people joining the cult of Shiela. However, as the season continues and the Knights of Serbia come into the forefront this season, the couple try to stay alive while they end up in their crosshairs.

As much as Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 deals with expanding the lore and the Knights of Serbia, it truly revolves around Sheila realizing that she will outlive Joel. And as it was shown in the trailers, the season addresses the question of will Joel become a zombie. Will he enter into forever with Sheila? But at the heart of this question is, will Joel finally fully accept Sheila as she is?

Now throughout season one and two Joel has come leaps and bound. Remember, they’ve been Joel and Sheila since high school, so of course, he helps her kill Neo-Nazis and other terrible people to feed and of course he takes her leftovers to the storage locker’s freezer. That being said, the keeping of the ball Sheila threw up in the freezer, even after they realize it’s a being itself – one they call Mr. Ball-legs – coupled with that fact that he needs time to think about joining her, causes Sheila to worry.

I’ve written before about why you should start watching this show. It has a strong grounding in family, a wonderfully real and hilarious take on relationships, it takes on social issues through a humorous and cathartic lens, and it brings new elements to zombie lore that I most definitely haven’t seen before. Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 is no different. With multiple storylines, including their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) having to take responsibility for blowing up the fracking site last season, there is a little something for everyone.

Clarita Diet Season 3

However, the multiple storylines executed across only 10, 23ish-minute, episodes is difficult to accomplish and that leaves some falling by the wayside. While the Cult of Sheila is mentioned throughout the entire season, it’s a plot that seems to just fall away. The consequences of the fracking explosion really aren’t that great and exist to bring Abby and Eric (Skyler Gisondo) together, something that has been facilitated in Eric’s immersion into her family around zombie lore since season one. On top of that, the secondary villains hunting down the Hammonds is convoluted at best and a group that only makes sense at the very end of the Santa Clarita Diet Season 3.

That being said, Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 delivers deep belly laughs, tops the last two seasons on campy gore, and has a couple of turns that make you appreciate every character. And to be honest, at the core of it all it’s Olyphant and Berrymore’s chemistry as Sheila and Joel that truly make this show a great watch. They play off of each other well, they’re comfortable, and at the end of the day, as Joel tackles his reservations, he begins to fully accept Sheila, ball-legs and all.

In a genre overflowing with the undead, Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 is a humorously fresh take on a classic monster with a Dexter moral compass and camp for days.  Overall, if the series continues into season four, it would do well to tighten the storylines and really hone back in on what makes the show great. However, if you enjoy political humor, camp, B-movie gore, and fun zombie storytelling, I highly recommend it.

Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

In a genre overflowing with the undead, Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 is a humorously fresh take on a classic monster with a Dexter moral compass and camp for days.  Overall, if the series continues into season four, it would do well to tighten the storylines and really hone back in on what makes the show great. However, if you enjoy political humor, camp, B-movie gore, and fun zombie storytelling, I highly recommend it.